A Woburn man accused in a brazen afternoon carjacking in the South End was ordered held on $50,000 cash bail Friday, as a prosecutor described an unsuspecting medical student’s harrowing ordeal.
The victim, 29, was in her car on Waltham Street Thursday afternoon when Joel Cartagena, 36, allegedly threw open her door, grabbed her by the back of the head, and pushed her to the passenger side of the car. He then held her head down as he drove away, prosecutor Eric Anderson said at Cartagena’s arraignment in Boston Municipal Court.
After crashing into the back of a car, Cartagena fled down West Dedham Street on foot, but was caught after a short chase by a police officer and a bystander who had heard the crash, Anderson said. After the crash, the victim got out of the car and said, “He stole my car and tried to mug me,” Anderson said.
After he was apprehended, Cartagena told the officer he fled the scene because he “was in a car accident, got scared, and ran,” according to a police report.
Another witness who chased Cartagena to a playground told the Globe that Cartagena did not put up a struggle and insisted he had done nothing wrong.
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